It has emerged this morning that Nintendo Europe managing director David Gosen has quit the firm after a five-year stint at its helm.
Leaving Nintendo Europe at the end of August, Gosen will move across to mobile games firm Digital Bridges, taking on the role of COO. A replacement for Gosen's role has yet to be named, though the company will promote Jim Merrick to senior director of European marketing, and Tim Freystedt to senior European marketing manager.
"David has made a huge contribution to Nintendo over the last five years and we would like to thank him for all his hard work and wish him all the success in the future," said Nintendo Europe president Satoru Shibata.
The shock news comes hot on the heels of Gosen's most outspoken comments to date, during a recent ELSPA conference in London. "For every game magazine editor bored with current products, there are hundreds of thousands of gamers across the world just discovering them - today's gamers are still hungry for today's games," exclaimed Gosen earlier this month. He went on to question predicted high pricing of future competitors' hardware: "As hard as it may be for those editors to believe, not everyone outside their circle is prepared to pay a high price for a new console."
Gosen even took a few pot-shots at Rockstar's best-selling GTA series. "Grand Theft Auto, ultimately, is a dead end street, and as a businessperson, I don't relish the role of defending our business from charges of gratuitous violence," he said.
Gosen concluded his outspoken day with a long-overdue criticism of the games retail sector's short-sighted bundling of consoles with games that simply would not move from shelves as stand-alone products. "If we give consumers ten games in a bundle, of which eight are sure to disappoint, what have we actually achieved?" he asked. "A disaffected consumer!"
The timing of the above comments, combined with the absolute fact that they were totally out of character for the NOE boss, have been pointed to by some industry pundits as being inextricably linked.
Stay tuned to SPOnG for updates as they break.